The Importance of ‘Noticing’ – Qualitative Assessment

August 9, 2012

Source: eJewish Philanthropy


Anna Marx describes how teachers in part-time Jewish learning programs have been experimenting with ways to assess learning. Teachers in the Coalition of Innovating Congregations  in New York have been working together to develop methods of qualitative assessment. They call these methods “Noticing” because they are about observing, witnessing growth in their learners as they travel their own journeys.


This this whole-person assessment sets outcomes in four domains:

  • What do you want the learner to KNOW?
  • What do you want the learner to DO?
  • What do you want the learner to BELIEVE or VALUE?
  • How will this foster a sense of BELONGING for your learner?

The teachers then develop means of determining if their students have reached the outcomes. They use "Noticing" techniques, such as observing the kids reflect on their own experiences with each other, listen to what they say and notice whether the outcomes were reached or following students' blog or Twitter posts.


Marx writes:
" We’re still in the very experimental stages of this work. We’re testing and trying it and seeing how to improve it. But one thing is clear, if we take the time to notice our participants and their individual journeys we can continue to improve our programs to better reach our goals. AND we can have the data we need to tell other whether or not we are meeting our goals."


See her whole post at eJewish Philanthropy.

Updated: Aug. 28, 2012